This truly remarkable Oloroso is a very rare combination of sensuousness and depth. You just have to taste it to fully appreciate how special this wine is. The best match I’ve ever experienced for Oloroso is quail in a chocolate sauce. But equally, something simple like nuts, fruit or charcuterie would do well. As a result of its aging, this wine does not need cellaring.
In a traditional Andalusian cellar, the butt located at the end of a row (thus called “bota punta” or “bota de punta”) eventually acquires a singular character versus the rest of its companions in the same solera. Because it is topped up with wine from the same solera rather than younger wine this bota punta develops a more intense and concentrated personality. As a result, it is used like the ‘reserve’ wine in Champagne. But occasionally they bottle it separately.
Started by a group of Spanish Sherry lovers led by wine writer and Sherry guru Jesús Barquín. The concept behind Equipo Navazos (Team Navazos) was to select specific bota (cask/s) of such wines for individual bottling, unfiltered or lightly filtered. Initially intended for a select group of friends and professionals the project was too good not to share. A variety of styles from several bodegas are bottled in limited numbers. Carrying the name “La Bota de….” (the cask of…). Stated on the label is the date of each saca (racking) is making a solera equivalent of a vintage.
Jerez in southwestern Spain is where Sherry comes from. Sherry is a fantastic product. Unique because of local conditions, the ‘Solera’ system, and Flor yeast. It is impossible to replicate these wines. Sherry can be anything from young to quite old and dry as dry can be to luscious and sweet. Palomino is the grape for dry Sherry. Sweeter wines use Pedro Ximenez (PX) and Muscat of Alexandria (Moscatel).
The fruit that doesn’t have enough acid to be Fino heads to the Oloroso stream. Oloroso can be translated as “aromatic” (or “odorous one” if you’re google translate). Oloroso does not age under the flor. Instead, it is oxidised from the beginning. It has strong nutty or rancio flavours. It is darker in colour, richer in body. Oloroso is naturally dry but sometimes is sweetened with Pedro Ximenez. I had an old Oloroso with a quail in chocolate sauce. It was heaven.
The main variety of Sherry production. It grows in the chalky white albariza soils. Which gives a dry, acidity, minerally and faintly aromatic base wine to craft into works of Sherry art. Used for Fino/Manzanilla, Amontillado and Oloroso production.
The Solera system used is Sherry is a way of fractional blending. There are many stages in the solera. Wine is bottled from the oldest barrels (no more than one third is taken each bottling). Then those barrels are topped up with the next oldest barrels. This can go through many levels of age. Therefore some of the oldest barrels have wine that is at least 30 years old but may be much older.
This differs drastically from Champagne or Port blending. In Champagne or Port, they blend separate wines to achieve the desired flavour. In the solera, the fractional blending takes place constantly and the final product is the results of many years.